AOB: Audit Committees Must Ensure Integrity of Financial Reporting

Kuala Lumpur, 13 December 2022

The Securities Commission Malaysia’s (SC) Audit Oversight Board (AOB) has called for Audit Committees of public listed companies (PLCs) to create and maintain an environment that supports and upholds auditors’ independence and high audit quality to ensure that reliable audited financial information is made available to facilitate informed decision by users.

At a recent virtual dialogue series with 823 Audit Committee members from 723 PLCs, the AOB reminded that members of the Audit Committee are instrumental in setting the right tone for the company's financial reporting process and enabling a close working relationship between the Audit Committee and the independent auditors.

It further emphasised that effective oversight by strong, knowledgeable, and independent Audit Committees shall further enhance audit quality in the marketplace.

Recognising this, the AOB regularly engages with Audit Committees to ensure that they are adequately informed and kept abreast with the relevant information to effectively carry out their oversight responsibilities.

This year’s dialogue series also saw the AOB sharing the result of its survey on ‘Transparency Reporting by Audit Firms’, which is based on the responses of 151 Audit Committee members.

Introduced in December 2019, the Transparency Reports are issued by certain registered audit firms who meet the mandatory reporting criteria as stipulated by the AOB. The Transparency Reports provide information on a firm’s legal and governance structure, measures taken by the firm to uphold audit quality and manage its risks, as well as information on the firm’s measurement of audit quality indicators.

The AOB noted that while 89% of the survey respondents are aware of the requirement for audit firms to produce Transparency Reports, only 68% of the respondents have read the Transparency Reports.

The AOB strongly encourages Audit Committee members to read the reports in view that 94% of the survey respondents who have done so have found the information disclosed to be useful to facilitate a more effective selection and assessment towards appointment (including re-appointment) of the external auditors. For good corporate governance, the decision for the appointment or re-appointment of auditors shall be made by the Audit Committees and not management.

The recently concluded dialogue series, held on 17 November and 6 December 2022, reflects the SC’s efforts to improve corporate governance in PLCs as well as strengthen the ecosystem for audit quality and increase investors’ confidence in the quality and reliability of audited financial statements.

It also provides a platform for Audit Committees to raise any issues with respect to their oversight function and to share good practices in supporting audit quality.


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